Musk is planning the Twitter tick again, but with more colors

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Elon Musk said Twitter will launch a verification feature with multi-colored ticks, just weeks after the botched rollout of its paid blue check model, which had to be scrapped as impersonation accounts abounded.

Musk tweeted Friday that “Verified” will launch in a week, this time with gold markings for businesses, gray for governments and blue for individuals, who can also qualify for a “secondary small logo” indicating they belong to an organization .

All verified accounts “will be manually authenticated before check is enabled,” Musk tweeted.

Elon Musk’s first major Twitter product went on hiatus after fake accounts spread

The Twitter owner did not elaborate on what manual authentication would entail. Accounts with old blue ticks on the social media site had to have their identity verified to get the token, and are predominantly used by businesses, celebrities, journalists, politicians and other public figures. It’s unclear whether Twitter has a system in place to manually approve accounts, especially after dramatically reducing its workforce in the past month.

Since taking over Twitter, CEO Elon Musk has laid off thousands, many tasked with maintaining critical services. Former employees worry the site could collapse. (Video: Jonathan Baran/The Washington Post)

The billionaire acquired Twitter last month in a $44 billion deal that he proposed, then tried to cancel, then proposed again. Since the acquisition, Twitter’s workforce has been in chaos. Musk has cut about half of his jobs and then issued an ultimatum to the remaining employees to commit to a new “hardcore” Twitter or leave. Hundreds of employees refused to sign the pledge.

The company’s Trust and Safety team, which is responsible for fighting hate speech and policing content on the site, has undergone major upheaval under Musk — from executives leaving to carefully crafted decisions being reversed. He seems to make a lot of critical decisions by polling Twitter users. Musk previously reinstated President Donald Trump’s account and plans to reinstate nearly all previously banned accounts after conducting separate polls.

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Several major advertisers have stopped advertising on the site since Musk took over — putting Twitter’s main source of revenue at risk.

Musk changed the old checkmark system shortly after taking control of the company, rolling out a feature in the company’s Twitter Blue subscription service that let anyone pay $7.99 and get a blue tick on their account, provided they had an Apple ID and a phone number.

But the new paid system quickly went awry. Accounts impersonating public figures, elected officials and brands were created. Tweets pretending to be from politicians or businesses went viral.

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The chaos made it difficult to quickly tell which accounts were valid and which were impersonations, undermining trust in posts on the site. Twitter disabled new signups for the service.

On Friday, Musk tweeted that the company “tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week.” He did not say what exactly that would mean for accounts that had ticks under the old system, or for accounts interested in paying for Twitter’s subscription service.

He tweeted it “All verified individual people will have the same blue check, as the boundary of what constitutes ‘notable’ is otherwise too subjective.”

Musk halted a rollout from earlier this month that would have given officially verified accounts a new badge to indicate they’ve been verified as who they say they are.

“Besides being an aesthetic nightmare when you look at the Twitter feed, it’s simply another way to create a two-class system,” he said during a Twitter Spaces audio call.

Musk and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But on the platform, in a reply to another userHe said accounts would be suspended if they engaged in “deliberate impersonation/deception”.

He added: “We’ll see how it goes.”

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